Digital Transformation Platform Migration & Modernization

Top Digital Initiatives for the Financial Services Industry

As financial service companies continue taking steps to transition to digital, it is critical to understand how today’s technological trends will shape the future of financial service operations and customer interactions. 

Integration challenges is the top bottleneck in the pursuit of digital transformation. Without sound integrations, financial services are at a severe risk of never accomplishing their required business objectives and staying competitive in the marketplace. 

Are you investing in the following digital initiatives? 

Top 3 Digital Initiatives for Financial Services

1. Using data as intelligently as possible

Data will still be prominent in all conversations and there will be more progress on how to use that data as intelligently as possible. There will be a transition from just collecting data and talking about the data but actually using data to answer important business questions.

Many businesses are breaking down data silos but the key will be having a strategy in how that data will be used in a more meaningful way that will create revenue-boosting opportunities down the road. With this newfound ability to create smart decisions with data instead of just focusing on storing all your data in one place, financial services (along with other industries), will have a clear understanding of where they need Customer 360 data to reside to create a holistic view at an enterprise level.

2. Enhancing customer communication 

A primary focus in the financial services industry is enhanced communication capabilities via modern platforms that are integrated into existing systems.

Business units require better ways to connect customer data, specifically multichannel chat and messaging services that allow for collecting information about a customer that can feed into their application processing. It’s not only more efficient for the customer, since many people are finding it more difficult to schedule time to wait and call customer service, but it’s also more efficient for your business because it increases your capacity to serve more customers at the same time. 

3. Increasing payment capabilities

Payment capabilities will continue to make huge strides. There are many financial services that still take checks in-person or drop off cash. Your business must be able to focus on integrating to a more scalable payment system and reconcile that data to their core systems without overhauling the entire accounting process. 

It’s all about using these enterprise back office platforms in conjunction with niche payment gateways that will help to streamline not only receiving money, but paying out money as well. Expanding your core platform through a proper integration strategy will allow you to gain agility in leveraging newer, more consumer friendly payment options that take the burden off your customers. Done right and you will be able to continue to add more payment options without needing to invest in costly upgrades to legacy platforms. 

Leveraging Your Data Ecosystem

The key to fully utilizing and leveraging enhanced communication options, payment capabilities, and using data as intelligently as possible is to ensure that you have a strategy to integrate this new data into your existing application ecosystem. Whether you’re using native integration capabilities from Salesforce or building a reusable API that manages data access through MuleSoft, financial services are at risk of falling behind the competition and missing the mark on key business objectives if they do not put a focus on growing their digital agility.

If you need to leverage your data ecosystem, Green Irony can help. We build technical solutions to fuel large-scale, impactful digital transformation efforts capable of rapidly moving the needle for your business. To learn more about our expertise and services, visit

API Security

API Security Best Practices: Top Defenses to Avoid Critical Security Threats

Most businesses have been hearing it for some time now: APIs are the future, APIs are the way to go, APIs or bust. The main purpose of leveraging APIs is to allow other technology systems within your business and third-party vendors to access your data and generate business logic that is utilized for generating revenue, serving customers, and much more.

What many businesses don’t know though is that API security is an essential and mandatory part of securing critical information, whether that’s financials, personal employee data, client data, and customer data. This is important because whether you are opening, sharing, changing, or pulling sensitive data, you are leaving your business wide open to security breaches.

So whenever you have all of your APIs open and available, there are immediate measures you must take to limit unwanted access to your data. Here are the top three basic API security measures you must take for threat defense.

Top 3 API Security Basics for Threat Defense

1. Two-way Encrypted Communication

To prevent any “man-in-the-middle” attacks, communications must be two-way encrypted. It’s easy for people to see data moving back and forth or hack into routers, even if only one way is encrypted. The key is to make sure that whenever you are talking, even before passing credentials, you’re doing so through protected communication. It means having SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) and utilizing HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure). 

2. Authentication and Authorization

Once your communication is encrypted, you now have a safe way to take and share sensitive data, such as usernames, passwords, client IDs, and secret tokens. Authentication is only the first step. This is where you have your proper credentials and a password that is more complicated than “password.” Authentication is great, but just as key is authorization, which many businesses fail to check. 

Many companies know which individuals should have access to certain data, but are their APIs checking for the same? Is the data read-only? Can changes be made? Can data be shared? Are the right people the only ones who can do all of the above? The last thing a company needs is to have open access for every employee or third-party,  no matter what level they are at. In order to prevent this, there must be proper authorization.

3. Denial-of-Service Attack Prevention

Denial-of-service attacks is when someone can take and send enough requests at you in a short amount of time. Your system will not be able to process it and is going to timeout and crash. This is when you start getting into rate-limiting and throttling policies. Both are critical in ensuring that your APIs can only process so many requests per minute. You always need to set some kind of rate limit because that’ll prevent people from just hammering down requests and forcing a security leak.

However, the above are table stakes and only the beginning. Businesses really should be reviewing the OWASP Top 10 ( security concerns and making sure their application networks are protected against attacks of all kinds. This includes data injection, using out-of-date components, missing server updates – the list goes on. Once you have that protection in place, the next step is to have a plan in place for ongoing monitoring. 

API Security Monitoring Best Practices

First is taking stock of what APIs and applications you have. Companies don’t realize that they might have a number of APIs running that nobody intended to run in the first place. Many businesses have servers with exposed APIs, third-party SaaS systems with the same, or even legacy APIs that most forgot existed. 

Best way to combat that? Find and test them. Listen to network traffic and sniff out offending systems or APIs. Even if you know an API and its specification (the communication contract), you should generate different permutations to see if there is a way to break it and get access to data you shouldn’t have. 

In essence, you want to have some type of system that can do ongoing monitoring that generates alerts and reports the speed back to you to say if everything is on lock-down and secured. Many businesses will throw their hands up at this saying they don’t have time, but API security and ongoing security monitoring are mandatory – not optional. 

If your team doesn’t have the expertise or bandwidth to ensure all of the above API security elements and have the capacity to do ongoing monitoring, our partner Noname Security specializes in this. Noname API Security Platform is the only solution to proactively secure your environment from API security vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and design flaws while providing API attack protection with automated detection and response.

If you aren’t actively pursuing security measures, it’s only a matter of time until someone finds your company and you have a data breach. Simply put, don’t be that company.

To take the initial steps to secure your business, see our API Security Assessment & Remediation Plan offering. In just a few short weeks we’ll help identify your API security risk and provide a remediation plan to address the greatest risks to your business and technology roadmap.